40 Of The Best Guitar Riffs Of All Time (2022)

Table of Contents
40: Kristin Hersh: Your Dirty Answer (2001) 39: Grant Green: Idle Moments (1963) 38: Poison Ivy: What’s Inside a Girl (2006) 37: Free: All Right Now (1970) 36: The Who: I Can’t Explain (1971) 35: John Lee Hooker: Boogie Chillen’ (1948) 34: Hole: Celebrity Skin (1998) 33: Joan Armatrading: Steppin’ Out (1976) 32: Bonnie Raitt: Something To Talk About (1991) 31: The Smashing Pumpkins: Today (1993) 30: Judas Priest: Breaking The Law (1980) 29: Howlin’ Wolf: Smokestack Lightnin’ (1956) 28: Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air) (1947) 27: The Sex Pistols: Pretty Vacant (1977) 26: Heart: Barracuda (1977) 25: Van Halen: Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (1978) 24: The Smiths: This Charming Man (1983) 23: Dire Straits: Money For Nothing (1985) 22: Queens Of The Stone Age: No One Knows (2002) 21: Muddy Waters: Mannish Boy (1955) 20: The Beatles: Day Tripper (1965) 19: Derek And The Dominoes: Layla (1970) 18: Queen: Killer Queen (1974) 17: Aerosmith: Walk This Way (1975) 16: AC/DC: Back In Black (1980) 15: Ozzy Osbourne: Crazy Train (1980) 14: Metallica: Enter Sandman (1991) 13: U2: With Or Without You (1987) 12: Tom Petty: Free Fallin’ (1981) 11: Rush: Tom Sawyer (1981) 10: The Kinks: You Really Got Me (1964) 9: ZZ Top: La Grange (1973) 8: The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Purple Haze (1967) 7: Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Love (1969) 6: Link Wray: Rumble (1958) 5: Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine (1988) 4: Deep Purple: Smoke On The Water (1972) 3: The Rolling Stones: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction) (1965) 2: Chuck Berry: Johnny B Goode (1958) 1: Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991) The best of the rest FAQs Related content Videos

Some of the great songs of modern times – such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction)” or “Smoke On The Water” – strike you as much for their distinctive guitar licks as their powerful lyrics. The guitar riff, which often opens a song and forms the main repetitive melodic anchor, has been a core part of blues, rock’n’roll, and even punk songs for decades, and the best guitar riffs have changed the shape of music. Some of the early jazz guitarists (such as Charlie Christian, in Benny Goodman’s pre-war sextet) were pioneers of the riff, paving the way for greats who followed – everybody from Chet Atkins, T. Bone Walker and Jimi Hendrix to Van Halen, U2’s The Edge, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi and Rush’s Alex Lifeson.

Hundreds of other superb guitarists have laid down classics that deserve to be placed among the best guitar riffs of all time, and the ones we’ve chosen include masterpieces by Chuck Berry and Eric Clapton.

While you’re reading, listen to our Best Bass Guitar Riffs playlist here.

And now, here are some of the best guitar riffs of all time.

40: Kristin Hersh: Your Dirty Answer (2001)

American singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh says she studied classical guitar for many years as a youngster and her intricate fingerpicking and ability to play striking distorted riffs are all evident on “Your Dirty Answer,” a track on her fifth solo album Sunny Border Blue. Her own raw husky vocals, the pulsating main guitar riff, and the consistent bass line makes the song a good representation of her work.

39: Grant Green: Idle Moments (1963)

Blue Note star Grant Green was a master of creative ingenuity and his beautifully subtle descending riff at the start of “Idle Moments” (accompanied by the deft piano playing of composer Duke Pearson) provides the perfect start to one of the most serene instrumentals ever put on record. Green repeats the riff later in the 15-minute masterpiece and also plays gorgeous solos (along with those from tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson and vibes great Bobby Hutcherson) in a track recorded at the iconic Rudy Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. There have been plenty of wonderful jazz guitar riffs by artists such as Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery, but Green’s dreamlike, mellow riff and track is something special.

Idle Moments (Rudy Van Gelder Edition / Remastered 1999)

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38: Poison Ivy: What’s Inside a Girl (2006)

A Date with Elvis was the third studio album by the American garage band The Cramps. The tongue-in-cheek song “What’s Inside a Girl,” co-written by guitarist Poison Ivy and singer Lux Interior, contained a smashing psychobilly riff. Poison Ivy Rorschach, who was born Kirsty Marlana Wallace in San Bernardino, California, said that the most identifiable influences on her distinctive style of playing are Link Wray and Duane Eddy. “I love their simplicity…the stark chords of Link Wray and the stark single-note thing of Duane Eddy.”

37: Free: All Right Now (1970)

The stirring riff that opens “All Right Now,” a global hit for English band Free in 1970, was written after a dispiriting gig at the University of Durham in front of handful of students, when the band, in the words of drummer Simon Kirke, “walked off stage to the sound of our own footsteps.” They decided they needed an up-tempo number to finish sets and bass guitarist Andy Fraser started singing “It’s All Right now” when the inspiration for the opening chords struck. “The riff was basically me trying to do my Pete Townshend impression,” Fraser recalled. “I actually wrote the riff on piano and then Paul Kossoff transposed the chords to guitar, and he did a helluva job, because that’s not always easy.” Paul Rodgers wrote the lyrics and when Island Records boss Chris Blackwell heard the demo, he insisted he wanted to put it out as a single. It has since been purchased or streamed more than 200 million times.

36: The Who: I Can’t Explain (1971)

Pete Townshend was just 18 when he came up with the love song “I Can’t Explain” about a boy who can’t articulate his love for a girl because he has taken too many amphetamines. There is some debate over who actually played the recognisable riff at the start. Jimmy Page said that it was down to Townshend (“it was all Pete… he was roaring, man”), whereas singer Roger Daltrey said in his 2018 autobiography that it was Page on lead guitar. The two-minute hit song was a favorite of David Bowie, who came up with his own brilliant riff three years later for “Rebel Rebel.”

35: John Lee Hooker: Boogie Chillen’ (1948)

John Lee Hooker, the blues master whose introduction and hook on 1962’s “Boom Boom” is so mesmerizing, had 13 years earlier come up with the ringing amplified guitar riff for “Boogie Chillen’.” He later said: “I wrote that song in Detroit when I was sitting around strumming my guitar. When I was a little kid I heard my stepfather Will Moore do it years and years before. It had that beat, and I just kept that beat up and I called it “Boogie Chillen’.” The song had a powerful influence on BB King as he was starting out in his career as a radio DJ.

John Lee Hooker - "Boogie Chillun"

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34: Hole: Celebrity Skin (1998)

The song “Celebrity Skin,” which opens the album of the same name, starts with a pounding riff played by guitarist Eric Erlandson. The track was a hit single for Hole, the band formed in Los Angeles in 1989, reaching No. 1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in 1998. Singer Courtney Love said that she wrote the song with Erlandson and Smashing Pumpkins star Bill Corgan, who played bass on two tracks of the album Celebrity Skin. Love told the VH1 program Behind the Music that the main riff was written solely by Corgan. Producer Michael Beinhorn was also responsible for the amplified sound of the guitar work on the track.

33: Joan Armatrading: Steppin’ Out (1976)

Joan Armatrading, who moved to England at the age of three from the colony of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla, was a self-taught guitarist who said that she often composed her songs starting with the piano section first or writing on the guitar and sometimes starting with a riff. Many of her riffs were subtle and catchy, such as “Willow,” and one of the best is on “Steppin’ Out,” which became one of her signature live songs after it appeared on the 1976 Back to the Night, where she played 12-string guitar on the track, alongside lead guitarists Bernie Holland and Andy Summers of the Police.

32: Bonnie Raitt: Something To Talk About (1991)

Blues maestro B.B. King once said that he believed Bonnie Raitt was the “best damn slide player working today” and her gorgeous melodic slide riff opens the hit song “Something To Talk About,” a song which also has a lovely hook. The Grammy-winning song, which was written by Canadian singer-songwriter Shirley Eikhard and included on Raitt’s 1991 album Luck of the Draw, has become one of the singer’s trademark songs. “I’m not a schooled guitar player,” she once said, “but I love taking risks.”

31: The Smashing Pumpkins: Today (1993)

“Like a great frontman, a really good rock riff should have a hypnotic, star quality,” said Billy Corgan, vocalist and lead guitarist of The Smashing Pumpkins. The one he came up with for the song “Today,” which appeared on their 1993 album Siamese Dream, fits the bill. Corgan said the opening lick came to him, “note-for-note in my head,” in a sudden moment of inspiration and that it completely changed the character of the song. “Suddenly, I had a song that was starting out quiet and then got very loud. I could start to hear the shifts in the song as it progressed. I knew that I was going to bring that riff back in for emphasis, and I knew where I could do that,” he told Guitar World. Jimmy Chamberlin played drums on the track and Corgan recorded all of the guitar and bass guitar parts himself, as well as singing the lyrics to a dark, unsettling song.

The Smashing Pumpkins - Today (Official Music Video)

(Video) 100 Greatest Guitar Riffs Of All Time (Part 1)

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30: Judas Priest: Breaking The Law (1980)

Guitarist Glenn Tipton came up with the idea for the song “Breaking the Law” while he and his fellow Judas Priest musicians were staying at Tittenhurst Park in Staffordshire and working on their album British Steel. The country home, which belonged to Ringo Starr, was where John Lennon recorded “Imagine,” and it proved an inspiring setting for British band Judas Priest. “Breaking the Law,” co-written by Tipton, singer Rob Halford and guitarist K.K. Downing, became one of the band’s most celebrated singles, easily identifiable by its opening guitar riff. “It turned out to be one of the all-time classic metal riffs,” Halford said. When the main riff is repeated in the middle of the song, the band used the sound effect of a police car’s siren to add to the drama of the song.

29: Howlin’ Wolf: Smokestack Lightnin’ (1956)

Chester Arthur Burnett (named after the 21st President of the United States) took the name Howlin’ Wolf when he became a professional singer. When he recorded for Chess Records in 1956, he returned to “Smokestack Lightnin’” – it was listed as “Smoke Stack Lightning” on the original pressing – a song Wolf used to sing as a boy watching the trains go by in the Mississippi town, White Station, where he was born in 1910. Although Wolf’s growling, howling vocals are a key to the song’s popularity, it also contained one of the finest riffs in blues. The credit for that bending, hypnotic riff goes to guitarist Hubert Sumlin, who told journalist Ted Drozdowski, “Wolf made my ass come up with that come up with that part.”

28: Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air) (1947)

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a cultural trailblazer and her 1947 Decca Records hit “Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air)” contains all the elements that made her so popular: inspired gospel singing and rousing guitar playing. Arkansas-born Tharpe is often referred to as “the godmother of rock and roll” for her pioneering guitar technique and her ability to write a searing guitar hook. Elvis Presley loved Tharpe’s singing, and particularly admired her guitar playing.

27: The Sex Pistols: Pretty Vacant (1977)

Billboard magazine said in a contemporary review of “Pretty Vacant” that the “bombastic guitar riffs make the lyrics difficult to hear.” They might have been surprised to learn that this angry punk rock anthem owed its opening riff to the inspiration of “SOS” by Swedish pop band ABBA. “Pretty Vacant” was written by bass player Glen Matlock (replaced soon after the release of the album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols by Sid Vicious) and singer John Lydon, although they followed convention and credited the song to the entire band. Matlock had written all the chord pieces but was still looking for a riff flourish to improve the song. “I knew it needed a melodic thing, and I heard something on a record by a band called ABBA and it inspired the riff I needed, and I said, ‘Guys, I’ve got it.’” Joey Ramone later used the lead riff on his cover of “What a Wonderful World.”

26: Heart: Barracuda (1977)

Nancy Wilson told The Music Experience that one of her favourite riffs for the band Heart was on the 1977 track “Barracuda,” because it “felt really big. It felt so rock… it’s one of the guitar tones where I’m still trying to figure out what we did, cause it’s hard to recreate. It’s very analogue.” “Barracuda,” which was co-written with Wilson’s vocalist sister Ann, guitarist Roger Fisher and drummer Michael DeRosier, went to No. 11 on the Billboard charts after being released as the lead single from the album Little Queen. Nancy Wilson also said that the riff for “Barracuda” owed a lot to the band called Nazareth, whom Heart had supported on a tour of Europe. “Nazareth had a hit with this Joni Mitchell song they covered called ‘This Flight Tonight’ that kind of had that riff, so we kind of borrowed that and we made it into ‘Barracuda.’”

25: Van Halen: Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (1978)

It seems incredible to think that Eddie Van Halen was initially reluctant to show his bandmates his song “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” fearing that his satirical commentary on the punk rock scene of the late 1970s was too simple. “It was a stupid thing to us, just two chords. It didn’t end up sounding punk, but that was the intention,” he recalled. The song became one of Van Halen’s signature songs and the opening riff, which requires careful picking to ensure you always strike the right string, was later the subject of a lawsuit between Van Halen and rap group The 2 Live Crew over alleged unauthorized imitation.

24: The Smiths: This Charming Man (1983)

Fans of The Smiths would probably differ on which song constitutes guitarist Johnny Marr’s best riff. While many might favor his playing on “How Soon Is Now?” or “What Difference Does It Make?,” our vote goes to “This Charming Man.” Marr originally wrote one of modern pop music’s most instantly recognizable opening riffs for a BBC radio session with John Peel. The guitarist’s fluid and infectious playing perfectly complements Morrissey’s morose lyrics and mournful singing.

The Smiths - This Charming Man (Official Music Video)

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23: Dire Straits: Money For Nothing (1985)

This classic from Dire StraitsBrothers In Arms album contains one of the most instantly recognisable opening riffs in rock history. Mark Knopfler talked to ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons to get some ideas before recording the track. He changed his usual guitar model to use a 1958 Gibson Les Paul so he could get just the right percussive fingerstyle-infused riff. The video was an MTV classic, too.

22: Queens Of The Stone Age: No One Knows (2002)

In 2001, Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Josh Homme had come up with a riff he liked for a song called “Cold Sore Superstars,” part of his side-project The Desert Sessions. A year later, when he came to record “No One Knows,” a song he had co-written with Nick Oliveri and Mark Lanegan, for the band’s album Songs for the Deaf, he took the riff and used it on what became a commercially successful and critically acclaimed single. “No One Knows” earned a nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 2003 Grammy Awards. The song was also famous for the memorably surreal video, in which a deer that a group of hunters had struck while driving bounces back to life and exacts revenge.

Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows (Official Music Video)

(Video) The 46 Best Guitar Riffs Ever (according to a guitar geek)

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21: Muddy Waters: Mannish Boy (1955)

Muddy Waters embodied a sound that was all his own, and his classic blues song “Mannish Boy,” recorded on a Telecaster in 1955, inspired a generation of musicians, including The Rolling Stones. An answer to Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man,” the repetitive guitar line on “Mannish Boy” is stirring electric blues at its best, and has been replicated by countless musicians since, ensuring it will live on as one of the best guitar riffs in history. Waters gave a memorable performance of the song with The Band in 1976 for the concert movie The Last Waltz.

Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy (Audio)

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20: The Beatles: Day Tripper (1965)

John Lennon created the sensational guitar riff that opens “Day Tripper,” a song “written under complete pressure” when the band needed a new single to go out as the double a-side release to “We Can Work It Out,” in December 1965. Lennon said it was the final version of “an old folk song” he had been working on. The opening ostinato riff, repeated five times, was played by George Harrison, with tambourine accompaniment from Ringo Starr. In his 2001 book The Beatles as Musicians, musicologist Walter Everett said the iconic riff drew on lots of their musical influences, from blues to Motown to rockabilly. At the time, Lennon said that “Day Tripper” “wasn’t a serious message song… I just liked the word,” while years later co-writer Paul McCartney admitted it was a drug song about an “acid trip.”

19: Derek And The Dominoes: Layla (1970)

“Layla” was one of the high-water marks for 70s rock. Eric Clapton was inspired to write the first part of the song after being given a copy of the Persian classical poet Nizami Ganjavi’s book The Story Of Layla And Majnun. As we now know, it is Clapton’s love song to Pattie Boyd, who at that time was married to George Harrison. (She later married Clapton.) Also an inspiration? Duane Allman’s guitar work on the tune. Indeed, Clapton’s multi-layered guitars play off Allman to create a riff that is timeless and distinctive. Clapton was, of course, also behind the riff for Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love,” during a period in which acolytes called him “God.”

Layla

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18: Queen: Killer Queen (1974)

Lots of Queen songs have beautiful chord progressions and potent solos by guitarist Brian May, and a number of their hits have great riffs, including “Stone Cold Crazy.” Perhaps their finest riff, though, can be heard on “Killer Queen.” “I was in hospital and almost dying when I heard that. They brought me in the harmonies and waited for me to finish the song,” said May. He used his trademark Red Special guitar for a solo that was multitracked to get the distinctive cascading effect.

Queen - Killer Queen (Top Of The Pops, 1974)

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17: Aerosmith: Walk This Way (1975)

Joe Perry’s riff for “Walk This Way” is still frequently imitated by young guitarists hoping to master the instrument. Perry came up with it during a soundcheck in Honolulu when he decided to do something more adventurous than a “normal boring chord progression”. One of the best guitar riffs in rock (later sampled by Run-DMC for their rock/hip-hop crossover classic) had to wait a while for lyrics, however, but when Aerosmith band members watched the Mel Brooks movie Young Frankenstein, which includes a line where a limping Marty Feldman tells Gene Wilder to “walk this way”, singer Steven Tyler began composing the words to one of the guitar world’s most iconic tunes.

Aerosmith - Walk This Way (Official Audio)

(Video) The Beatles - 40 Greatest Guitar Riffs

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16: AC/DC: Back In Black (1980)

AC/DC’s tribute to former singer Bon Scott, who had died in February 1980, aged 33, is the stirring “Back In Black,” with Angus Young’s guitar riff a masterclass in using the E minor pentatonic scale. The sizzling riff has helped make the song a fixture in modern culture, appearing in dozens of blockbuster movies, including Iron Man, Black Hawk Down and School Of Rock.

15: Ozzy Osbourne: Crazy Train (1980)

“Crazy Train” was the first single from heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne’s debut solo album Blizzard of Oz. It is famous for the sensational riff and solo from the late guitarist Randy Rhoads, who was only 25 when he died in a plane crash in 1982. His opening F-sharp minor riff on “Crazy Train” was a defining moment in heavy metal music. “If you listen to ‘Crazy Train’ real close,” engineer Max Norman said, “You’ll hear there’s one main guitar around the center, and two others playing exactly the same thing, panned to the left and right. What happens is you don’t hear them; you just hear it as one guitar. Randy was the best guy at overdubbing guitar solos and tracking them that I’ve ever seen. I mean, he used to blow me away.”

14: Metallica: Enter Sandman (1991)

“Enter Sandman” was the lead single from Metallica’s self-titled album of 1991, which went on to sell 16 million copies, and is noted for the iconic music video for the song directed by Wayne Isham. The memorable main bluesy riff was written by guitarist Kirk Hammett, who said he was inspired to create his own two-bar lick in the early hours at home one time after listening to the Soundgarden album Louder Than Love. “I was trying to capture their attitude toward big, heavy riffs. I put my riff on tape and didn’t think about it. When [drummer] Lars Ulrich heard the riff, he said, ‘That’s really great. But repeat the first part four times.’ It was that suggestion that made it even more hooky,” Hammett later told Rolling Stone magazine.

13: U2: With Or Without You (1987)

U2 guitarist The Edge believes that one of his own finest riffs was the minimalist ending one to “With or Without You,” partly because of its deliberate simplicity. “The end of ‘With Or Without You’ could have been so much bigger, so much more of a climax, but there’s this power to it which I think is even more potent because it’s held back,” he said. The song was the first single from The Joshua Tree, the band’s breakthrough album. The single went to No.1 in America and spent 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Producer Daniel Lanois said that part of the reason the song was so successful on the track was that “it was not labored over.” and it was the first great riff that came to The Edge when putting the song together.

12: Tom Petty: Free Fallin’ (1981)

The first song Tom Petty ever wrote with Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra was “Free Fallin’,” and it came about by accident. Petty was playing around with a small electric keyboard, when he hit upon a chord pattern. The singer-songwriter later told Billboard what happened next. “Jeff said something like, ‘That’s a really good riff but there’s one chord too many,’ so I think I cut it back a chord and then, really just to amuse Jeff, honestly, I just sang that first verse.” Petty played the riff on a 12-string acoustic guitar on a track for his debut solo album Full Moon Fever. The single went to No. 7 on the charts. “It turned out to be probably the most famous song I ever wrote,” added Petty.

11: Rush: Tom Sawyer (1981)

Alex Lifeson said that his favorite riff of all time was “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction)” from the Rolling Stones. The Rush guitarist created many of his own superb riffs, including on “YYZ” and “Tom Sawyer.” Rush, who were made up of three Canadians – guitarist Lifeson, bassist Geddy Lee, and drummer Neil Peart – became one of the best-selling bands in the world. Lifeson, who started off playing Jimmy Page-inspired blues riffs, used a PRS Singlecut guitar for the distinctive distortion tone sound on the smash hit “Tom Sawyer,” a song from the Moving Pictures album, about a modern-day rebel. The song featured lyric contributions from Pye Dubois of the band Max Webster. “We played that song a lot and it’s a difficult song to play because it’s not a traditional arrangement and has a weird opening note,” admitted Lifeson.

10: The Kinks: You Really Got Me (1964)

After a couple of unsuccessful singles, young London rock band The Kinks were under pressure to deliver a hit, and they did so in spectacular style in August 1964 with “You Really Got Me.” The arrangement was written by Ray Davies when he was messing around on the piano at home; guitarist Dave Davis came up with the distinctive riff by tearing the speaker cone of his amp to create this distorted guitar sound.

9: ZZ Top: La Grange (1973)

ZZ Top founder and guitarist Billy Gibbons described their song “La Grange,” taken from the 1973 album Tres Hombres as “the perfect introduction of ZZ Top to the world.” The song is a sweeping boogie-blues romp featuring an iconic riff that Gibbons played on his famous 1959 Gibson “Pearly Gates” Les Paul guitar, and which grew out of a jam session. The heart of the song was the boogie backbeat. The lyrics, co-written by singer Gibbons, drummer Frank Beard and bass player Dusty Hill, were inspired by the Chicken Ranch brothel that existed from 1905-1973 outside of La Grange, Texas, and which was the subject of the 1982 Dolly Parton film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

8: The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Purple Haze (1967)

There are dozens of fantastic riffs by Jimi Hendrix, including “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and “Little Wing.” The most famous is his 1967 hit “Purple Haze.” As a boy in Seattle, Hendrix taught himself to play by listening to blues stars Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf but later defined his own inimitable style with a fast blend of blues and R&B. All his skills and imagination came together on the minor pentatonic riff for “Purple Haze,” a song he said came to him in a dream after he had read a science fiction novel. Hendrix enjoyed improvising the riff when he played it live.

7: Led Zeppelin: Whole Lotta Love (1969)

Some might vouch for “Stairway to Heaven,” but it seems like history has chosen “Whole Lotta Love” as the greatest guitar riff from Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page said he came up with the “Whole Lotta Love” guitar riff – partly inspired by Chess Records legend Willie Dixon – while strumming a guitar on his houseboat on the River Thames in England during the summer of 1968. The single was a massive hit in the US and the riff was voted the greatest of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners in 2014. “I wanted a riff that really moved, that people would really get, and would bring a smile to their faces, but when I played it with the band, it really went into overdrive,” Page said. “There was this intent to have this riff and the movement of it, so it was menacing as well as quite sort of caressing.” Many of Page’s fellow-musicians have hailed it as one of the best guitar riffs of all time. Dave Grohl and Prince once jammed together playing the song, the former recalling, “It was, I swear to God, the most amazing experience of my entire life, and there was nobody there.”

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love (Official Music Video)

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6: Link Wray: Rumble (1958)

Bob Dylan described “Rumble,” a 1958 hit for Link Wray and His Ray Men, as “the best instrumental ever.” Fred Lincoln ‘Link’ Wray Jr. was 29 when he cut “Rumble” and he had a fascinating past. His mother was a Native American and the family were persecuted by the Ku Klux Klan. Wray made the record after returning from fighting in the Korean War and it firmly established Wray’s influence in guitar mythology. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin said there was a “profound attitude” bleeding out of “Rumble.” The descending pentatonic catches the ear from the first chord. The song’s title and link to street violence meant that, unusually for instrumental, the song was banned by radio across America, but its popularity caught on nevertheless and “Rumble” sold four million copies.

5: Guns N’ Roses: Sweet Child O’ Mine (1988)

London-born Slash delivered an amazing solo and one of his most epic guitar intros on 1988’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine” for Guns N’ Roses. During a rehearsal session, Slash said he was fooling around with a riff and singer Axl Rose cried out: “Hold the f__king phones! That’s amazing!” A hit was born. “Within an hour, my guitar exercise had become something else,” Slash explained in his autobiography.

(Video) 100 Greatest Guitar Riffs Of All Time (Part 2)

Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine (Official Music Video)

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4: Deep Purple: Smoke On The Water (1972)

Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore insists that to play “Smoke On The Water” properly, a guitarist must always pluck and never use a pick. One of guitar music’s most recognizable riffs was written during a jam session in Switzerland when Deep Purple were recording the album Machine Head. Blackmore, who worked out the riff with drummer Ian Paice, later recalled that they were just trying to create “something straightforward” to play. He said, “We were in this big ballroom in Montreux and the police arrived to tell us to stop, because we were playing so loud that there were complaints. We kept the door locked so that we could keep recording that particular take. The police were hammering on the door during the final take in the last three minutes of the recording session. Had the Montreux police had their way, we never would’ve recorded “Smoke On The Water.’”

3: The Rolling Stones: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction) (1965)

On 12 June 1965, The Rolling Stones hit the charts with the all-time classic that became their first US No.1. With a riff famously composed by Keith Richards in a hotel room just before he fell asleep, the first version of the song, featuring harmonica by Brian Jones, was recorded at their spiritual home of Chess Studios in Chicago. Two days later, at RCA in Hollywood, they cut the version we all know, and rock history was made. “I’m the riff master,” wrote Richards in his autobiography, Life. Indeed, there are no shortage of Stones songs vying for their place among the best guitar riffs in history. Though the power of “Satisfaction” is undeniable, Richards believes he laid down a better riff with the acoustic one that opens “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” “When you get a riff like “Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ you get a great feeling of elation, a wicked glee,” said Richards. “Flash is basically “Satisfaction’ in reverse. Nearly all of these riffs are closely related. But if someone said, “You can play only one of your riffs ever again,’ I’d say “OK, give me “Flash.””

The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Official Lyric Video)

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2: Chuck Berry: Johnny B Goode (1958)

Chuck Berry’s popular song about a country boy who can play the guitar “just like ringing a bell” sizzles from the opening note, and it is no surprise that it has been played on Spotify almost 100 million times. Credit where it’s due, though, because Berry acknowledged he was imitating the opening guitar riff on Louis Jordan’s “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman (They’ll Do It Every Time),” which was played by Carl Hogan in 1946. However, Berry’s inventive genius, as a singer, songwriter and performer, was transforming the rolling rhythms of Jordan and T-Bone Walker into the rhythmic foundation of rock’n’roll.

Johnny B. Goode

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1: Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)

Nearly three decades after it was recorded, Nirvana’s signature single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” still sounds raw and exciting. Kurt Cobain was attempting to write the “ultimate pop song” when he came up with the guitar riff. He also wanted to pen something in the style of Pixies, telling Rolling Stone magazine in 1994, “I was basically trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it.” The four-chord pattern of the riff is unoriginal but the quiet-loud dynamic contrasts of the song, and Cobain’s visceral delivery, add to the potency of one of the best guitar riffs of the 90s.

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Official Music Video)

(Video) 40 Best Thrash Metal Guitar Riffs (4K)

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The best of the rest

“Who’s That Lady?” (The Isley Brothers)
“Seven Nation Army” (The White Stripes)
“Should I Stay or Should I Go?” (The Clash)
“There She Goes” (The La’s)
“Mr Tambourine Man” (The Byrds)
“September” (Earth, Wind & Fire)
“Sweet Home Alabama” (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
“Shaft” (Isaac Hayes)
“Hotel California” (Eagles)
“Walk” (Pantera)

Looking for more? Discover the best guitarists of all time.

FAQs

40 Of The Best Guitar Riffs Of All Time? ›

And now, here are some of the best guitar riffs of all time.
  • 5: Guns N' Roses: Sweet Child O' Mine (1988) ...
  • 4: Deep Purple: Smoke On The Water (1972) ...
  • 3: The Rolling Stones: (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction) (1965) ...
  • 2: Chuck Berry: Johnny B Goode (1958) ...
  • 1: Nirvana: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991) ...
  • The best of the rest.

What is the most iconic guitar riff of all time? ›

1: Deep Purple: Smoke On The Water (1972)

Not only does it top our list of the best guitar riffs, but Deep Purple's legendary Smoke On The Water is arguably the most important rock guitar riff of them all – the one that every self-respecting rock guitarist has to master in order to get off the blocks.

What song has the best guitar riff? ›

Greatest Guitar Riffs of All Time

Who is the king of guitar riffs? ›

Jimi Hendrix taught himself to play the electric guitar and, because he was left-handed, he would play the guitar upside down with the strings in reverse order. One of the most influential musicians in history, he was best known for edgy guitar riffs.

What is the best guitar intro of all time? ›

Here, we pay homage to some of the greatest acoustic guitar intros of all time.
  • “Jack and Diane” John Mellencamp. ...
  • “Love Song” Tesla.
  • “Mama I'm Coming Home” Ozzy Osbourne.
  • “More Than a Feeling” Boston.
  • “Stairway to Heaven” Led Zeppelin.
  • “Tears in Heaven” Eric Clapton.
  • “Wanted Dead or Alive” Bon Jovi.
  • “Wish You Were Here”
Apr 15, 2020

Who is the greatest guitarist of all? ›

1 guitar player of all time, and this man, Jimi Hendrix, tops all lists of greatest guitar players ever. Hendrix was born in Seattle, Washington on Nov. 27, 1942. One thing to note is the fact that Hendrix is hands down the god of the guitar, and had the shortest career of anyone else on this list.

Who invented the riff? ›

The Early Guitar Riffs

Several musicians transformed rock 'n' roll in the late 1950s with growing tempos and complex rhythm and blues. Some of the musical pioneers who created the very first guitar riffs include Chuck Berry, Link Wray, and Dave Davies.

Which song has the best guitar solo? ›

  1. Pink Floyd | “Comfortably Numb” GUITARIST: David Gilmour (1979)
  2. Van Halen | “Eruption” ...
  3. Led Zeppelin | “Stairway To Heaven” ...
  4. Queen | “Bohemian Rhapsody” ...
  5. Eagles | “Hotel California” ...
  6. The Jimi Hendrix Experience | “All Along The Watchtower” ...
  7. Dire Straits | “Sultans Of Swing” ...
  8. Lynyrd Skynyrd | “Free Bird” ...
Dec 25, 2021

What rock song has the best intro? ›

Best rock 'n roll song intros ever:
  • Don't Fear the Reaper– Blue Oyster Cult 1976 (cowbell popularized by SNL sketch)
  • Jump– Van Halen 1984 (Rare synthesizer intro for Van Halen)
  • A Hard Day's Night– Beatles 1964 (iconic one-chord intro by George Harrison)
  • Centerfold– J Geils Band 1982 (Organ played by Seth Justman)
Aug 19, 2018

What is the most famous guitar lick? ›

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  • 7) “Whole Lotta Love” – Led Zeppelin (1969) ...
  • 6) “Back in Black” – AC/DC (1980) ...
  • 5) “Beat It” – Michael Jackson (1982) ...
  • 4) “You Really Got Me” – The Kinks (1964) ...
  • 3) “Smoke on the Water” – Deep Purple (1972) ...
  • 2) “Mannish Boy” – Muddy Waters (1955)
Oct 10, 2020

What is the hardest song to learn on the guitar? ›

Top 5 Most Difficult Guitar Songs
  • Joe Satriani – The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing.
  • John Petrucci – Damage Control.
  • Steve Vai – Juice.
  • Eddie Van Halen – Eruption.
  • Animals as Leaders – CAFO.
Jan 15, 2020

Who is best female guitarist? ›

6 Best Female Guitarists of All Time
  • 1 Mother Maybelle Carter.
  • 2 Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
  • 3 Lita Ford.
  • 4 Nancy Wilson.
  • 5 Sharon Isbin.
  • 6 Yvette Young.
  • 7 Finding your inspiration in history.
Sep 18, 2019

Who was the greatest rock guitarist? ›

Jimi Hendrix has been voted the Greatest Guitarist Of All Time by readers of the Louder website. Over 70,000 votes were cast in the poll, with Hendrix topping a list of 50 guitarists, followed by Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, David Gilmour, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

What is the longest guitar solo in a song? ›

Playing for 24 hours and 55 minutes, with a Guinness approved five minute break every hour, DiDonato set a new record that beat the previously set 24 hours and 17 minutes.

What song starts with a guitar riff? ›

Guitar riffs from 100 awesome tunes, including: Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love • Barracuda • Crazy Train • Detroit Rock City • Free Ride • Heartbreaker • I Feel Fine • La Grange • Life in the Fast Lane • Message in a Bottle • Paranoid • Pride and Joy • Rebel, Rebel • Revolution • Say It Ain't So • Silent Lucidity • Stairway ...

Should I learn chords or tabs? ›

When starting to learn the guitar, it is easier and less frustrating to focus on learning songs via chords rather than through tabs. Guitar tabs are generally more difficult and time-consuming and difficult to learn but are necessary if you want to learn the exact notes of a riff or solo.

Who did Jimi Hendrix think was the best guitar player? ›

The legendary guitar play Jimi Hendrix was blown away by Terry Kath's guitar playing. When first hearing Terry Kath play, Jimi Hendrix was quoted as saying that he thought Terry Kath played guitar better than he did. It was later on reported that Jimi Hendrix also called Terry Kath the “Best Guitarist in the Universe.”

Who does Eric Clapton think is the best guitar player? ›

However, the greatest, according to Eric Clapton, the bonafide guitar god, is Albert Lee. The guitarist has worked with some big names, including Emmylou Harris and The Everly Brothers. Considering Clapton's appraisal, we all should be listening to Lee: “He's the greatest guitarist in the world.

Who is the best guitarist alive? ›

Top 7 Living Guitarists
  1. Eric Clapton.
  2. Jimmy Page. ...
  3. Keith Richards. ...
  4. Jeff Beck. ...
  5. Pete Townshend. ...
  6. David Gilmour. David Jon Gilmour is an English guitarist, singer, and songwriter who was a member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. ...
  7. Derek Trucks. Derek Trucks is a Grammy-winning slide guitarist from Jacksonville, Florida. ...
Feb 20, 2022

From metal to rock, punk to grunge, these are the best guitar riffs ever recorded, as voted for by you

Even following a strict self-imposed ‘one riff per artist’ rule we were only able to pare our selection down to 125 riffs.. So, read on as we run you through 50 of the finest riffs ever recorded.. The chiming arpeggiated riff is underpinned by repeating A chords and, with the low A drone over the top, hints to the traditional Indian music that would become increasingly influential on the band.. is one of their most popular to date, racking up 50 million plays on YouTube and Spotify combined – its main motif built on a bed of harmonics, 19th and 20th fret taps, bleeding open strings and B natural minor arpeggios.. Sure, the “I realise you’re mine” part repeats, but watch the crowd at any gig to see that the guitar riff is what everyone’s waiting for.. Rock guitarists don’t get much funkier than the Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante, and the third single from 2002’s By The Way featured the smash album’s most rhythm-heavy riff.. Walsh played a Strat, while Don Felder played his ’59 Les Paul – the ultimate tag team of guitarists and instruments.. In this epic track from Rainbow’s classic second album, Rising , there’s a walking feel to the main riff thanks to the inclusion of passing tones within its pentatonic framework, with a three-note chromatic run starting on the fifth fret of the fifth string from the minor 7th to the major 7th and then finally the E octave.

From metal to rock, punk to grunge, these are the best guitar riffs ever recorded, as voted for by you

“Heavy metal thunder”, indeed!. Played in E with scratchy distortion, the riff set the tone for a whole genre.. Root was using his signature Telecasters, fitted with EMG 81/60 pickups, into Orange Rockerverb 100 and a Diezel Herbert, while Thomson relied on his own signature Ibanez guitars and Rivera amps.. Iconic tone from the man who inspired Slash. As for the guitar Slash played, it could only ever have been a Les Paul – but perhaps not the Les Paul that you’d expect.. The big hit from Alice In Chains’ debut album Facelift could very well be the finest grunge anthem of them all.. A blueprint for countless rock and heavy metal riffs to come, the opener of the Kinks’ You Really Got Me ricochets ceaselessly between F5 & G5 powerchords.. “Then Maynard came in and we started telling him about the sequence.”. For the recordings, Jones was using his 1979 Silverburst Gibson Les Paul Custom and an array of amps including his modded 1976 Marshall JMP Super Bass, a ‘blue face’ Diezel VH4, and a Sunn Beta Lead through Mesa/Boogie cabinets.

For World Guitar Day 2017, we asked you to vote for the greatest ever guitar riffs. Here then, are the 20 greatest riffs of all time: the stories behind them and how to play them…

But the Kings Of The Riff are Metallica – the Bay Area thrash band that went on to be the biggest band in metal appear four times in the top 20 alone…. The call and response riff of the opening track of Led Zeppelin IV was the perfect way to open one of rock’s most perfect albums.. Paranoid came from an album that’s unashamedly built on a bedrock of riffs, riffs and more riffs – but the song itself was written as filler at the last minute.. Zep’s second appearance in your top 10 is a musical and metaphorical drive toward some irresistible far-off horizon (utilising the same signature DADGAD tuning that guitarist Jimmy Page had previously used to create such memorable showcases from his repertoire as White Summer and Black Mountain Side ), Kashmir encapsulated Zeppelin’s multi-strand approach to making rock music: part rock, part funk, part African dust storm.. During the 240-odd nights of the …Justice For All tour, guitarists James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, and bass player Jason Newsted compiled what they called The Riff Tape – a collection of riffs that would form the basis of Metallicaʼs next studio album.. The first riff on The Riff Tape was one that Kirk Hammett had come up with.. “Yeah, yeah, BUT IS IT EVEN A RIFF?” Well, according to the dictionary, a riff is “a short repeated phrase in popular music and jazz, frequently played over changing chords or harmonies or used as a background to a solo improvisation”.. Whole Lotta Love – the song that would soon become their onstage anthem – led by Page’s distinctive, stuttering guitar riff that would later change the face of rock forever.. As iconic and as instantly recognisable as Smoke On The Water – and equally as likely to top polls to find the greatest guitar riff – Whole Lotta Love is a brooding, blistering, brute of a riff, that works not just because of Jimmy Page’s ability as a player, but also because of his skills as a producer and arranger.. Then there is Back In Black – a rock and metal song that appeals to everybody, from dads to dudes, to little old ladies beating noisy kids over the heads with their sticks – and it all hangs on that monumental, no-nonsense, three-chord monster of a riff.. His take on Smoke is simple: “It’s one of the greatest rock songs of all time and certainly the definitive hard rock riff.. I don’t play guitar and I can play it, my kids don’t play guitar, they can play it, the three guys walking past me down the street right this minute, who don’t even know who Deep Purple are, can more than probably play it.”

10. "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry The Original Rock N' Roller Okay, definitely a change-up to kick of this list. But, we have to recognize what Chuck Berry did to pave the way for rock n' roll to take off, and "Johnny B. Goode" is a wonderful example of the influence Berry had on future artis

A little known fact is that Berry mirrored the opening of Jordan’s “Ain’t That Just Like A Women” almost note for note.. “You Really Got Me” has been covered numerous times.. It’s hard not to list a Metallica when ranking the top riffs in rock history.. There is a strong likelihood that Hendrix never played this riff the same time twice, because of the amount of improvisation he would do during shows.. Page was the guitarist of the band, but it was actually Jones who originally composed the riff.

70 Most Underrated Guitar Riffs Of All Time Part 1, songs from bands like Ratt, Wool, Deftones, Medicine and Placebo

Not all songs need a great riff, but the best ones usually do.. Sometimes a crap band has one great riff in them).. For diversity, I’ll only do one song per artist (I’ll allow for 2 or a tie if a guitarist is in multiple bands).. [amazon_image id=”B000FN7BMM” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Fan and the Bellows[/amazon_image]. This is one of those bands I’m embarrassed to mention.. Make a note; this is the only list you’ll ever see Bang Tango and Wire side by side!. [amazon_image id=”B007NUP8E8″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Buried Life[/amazon_image]. A dream pop band that never fully caught on, this song off their album “The Buried Life” opens with a hypnotic guitar figure.. [amazon_image id=”B000UFRQSO” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]School Of Fish[/amazon_image]. A blissfully simple open D string chugger, it’s just as cool as their big hit “Hey Man Nice Shot”.

Guitar Riffs | This list of 30 amazing guitar riffs has songs that are super-easy but sound amazing. Grab your guitar & let's crank it up.

Guitar riffs are one of the most fun things about playing guitar.. What’s better than learning your favourite guitar riffs on your guitar?. If you want to learn guitar riffs, you MUST be able to read guitar tabs.. This is one of the best guitar riffs of all time.. It’s easy to play, sounds great and can be played on one string.. When playing this riff, start playing with your first finger on the 7th fret then move to the 10th with your pinky.. Here’s the tab for this epic track:. This epic rock riff from The Rolling Stones was one of the first records to feature a fuzz pedal.. Clapton’s roaring ‘woman tone’ along with a catchy syncopated riff makes this one of the best hooks of all time.. It’s fun to play and is a great introduction to the influence of the blues in popular music.. When playing this riff, take your time.. Here are a few reasons why it’s one of the best guitar riffs of all time:. To get used to playing this, practice playing each fretted note individually then combine each section one by one until you can play the whole riff.. Here’s the tab to play one of the most metal guitar riffs of all time:

From classic rock to full-on funk, there are few things better than a truly brilliant riff. Roisin O'Connor picks her favourites

Eddie Van Halen was the guitarist behind some of the biggest riffs in rock music.. “Eddie put the smile back in rock guitar at a time when it was all getting a bit broody,” fellow guitar legend Joe Satriani said in 2015.. “In the beginning, ‘Money For Nothing' sounded more like a Stones track and it didn't have the iconic guitar riff,” he said.. Allman was the one who helped transform the song from a ballad to what it is today, borrowing an Albert King riff from “As The Years Go Passing By”, and deploying his signature bottleneck slide style.. 9) “Good Times” – Chic (1979). Van Halen would later come in and actually change the song structure, improvising two guitar solos.. Written as a “answer song” to Bo Diddley’s “I’m the Man”, it’s one of the ultimate blues standards, covered by artists from The Rolling Stones (big Muddy Waters fans) to George Thorogood (“Bad to the Bone”).

Guitar riffs are some of the most memorable parts of songs that we have all come to love as musicians, especially when they are catchy and easy to learn. There are several guitarists who have played amazing guitar riffs over the years like Jimi Hendrix, Dave Grohl, and Alex Lifeson. Let’s face it: as a […]

I have found that playing riffs is a great way to perfect your guitar, especially if you know the songs where the riffs originated.. I have played the guitar for years, and many of the riffs that we are going to look at in this guide are riffs that I have played in the past and continue to play today.. If you’re looking for a definitive riff to learn from this song, I suggest you take a look at the riff that starts around 4:15.. The main riff in this song stands out the most and begins around the 0:07 part and sounds even better than the power chord section of the song that starts at the one-minute mark.. Outside of the cool-sounding muted A, some of the best riffs in the song come in the chorded section where you’ll have to play Cm and Bb alternately and progresses to finish up the riff with a sustained Ab.. One of the best parts of Song 2 is that it is very simplistic to learn; in fact, this is one of the first songs that I picked up because, outside of the main riff, you’ll just be strumming a simple chord that falls between the 11th and 13th frets.. That being said, the main riff is absolutely fun to play and is one of those riffs that just about everyone knows, so if you’re playing it, you can assume that someone around you is going to scream, “Woo Hoo!” The main riff begins at 0:14, so check it out.. The Foo Fighters are one of the modern bands that have become legend around the world, and while this unique song isn’t one of their more famous tracks, I love the riffs that they use, and I also love how the song goes from relatively slow-paced licks to super hard and fast riffs.. This combination of riffs lasts until the 2:26 part of the song, and since it only uses the B string and some slides, you may find this to be a great beginner riff to learn.. The guitar riff that the song is most known for begins at about 54 seconds into the song.. This song has a simple guitar riff that you can listen to at the beginning of the song as well as at about a minute into the song and again at the two-minute mark.

Grab Your Guitar Every guitarist wants to come up with that one great guitar riff that'll change their life forever. Was that too cheesy? Okay, let's try again. Once in a while, rock gods look down upon us and recognize our need for greatness to make life more exciting. Yeah, that's worse. Anywa

Every guitarist wants to come up with that one great guitar riff that’ll change their life forever.. And more often than not, that’s all you need – that ‘one great riff’ to take your song to another level and basically secure you a spot in the rock ‘n roll pantheon.. Don’t worry though, even the Guitar God himself admits it’s not the easiest song to play.. Jimmy Page’s epic work in “Whole Lotta Love” was voted the best guitar riff of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners.. We don’t normally include two works from one band in our listicles but man, this is Randy Rhoads we’re talking about – yep, the guy who we think single-handedly changed rock music.. No “greatest riff” list would be complete without something from the guitar god who set the bar incredibly high for every other axeslinger.. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” was voted as the ‘best guitar riff of all time’ in a poll by Music Radar.

Learn 6 of the best guitar riffs of all time, including “My Girl,” “Smoke on the Water,” and more in minutes.

Whether it’s the chugging heavy chords of "Smoke on the Water" or the groovy licks that fill your airspace throughout "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", some of the best guitar riffs moments of songs are the riffs and licks that define them.. A riff in music, a riff is a repeated sequence of notes or chords.. A riff can be a wide range of things - from a melodic lead line that is repeated throughout a song, to a particular chord progression, to even just a single note played with a unique rhythm.. A riff can be a wide range of things - from a melodic lead line that is repeated throughout a song, to a particular chord progression, to even just a single note played with a unique rhythm.. Because a guitar riff often repeats throughout a song, you don’t want it to be too complicated to play.. The Temptations' first #1 hit “My Girl” has one of the most famous guitar riffs of all time, and is a great riff for beginner guitarists to learn.. While riffs can be played by really any instrument in the band, typically, riffs are associated with guitar and can often be the driving force behind a song.. In fact, some of the best guitar riffs are so memorable that they become the defining characteristic or idea in a song, despite not being played throughout the entire piece.. The song opens with a fantastic first position riff that Bowie himself played on the record, and its simple yet catchy hook provides the basis for the rest of the song.. “Mannish Boy”’s main riff carries throughout the song and is perfect for beginner blues guitarists to learn, as all of the power chords used to play it are in the open position.. In under two minutes, you can learn to play an easy version of the main guitar riff to “When I Come Around.” The riff is played with single notes, starting with the second fret of the Low E string.. Slides, hammer-ons, and bent notes used in this riff are great for guitarists looking to get more nimble with their fret work, while double stops and string muting really lean into the rhythm of the riff.. Learn chords, riffs, songs, and more with bite-sized video lessons that let you learn and play at your own pace – whenever and wherever you want.

Here are the 20 greatest riffs of all time: the stories behind them and how to play them… | iHeart

For this year's World Guitar Day we asked you to voted for the Greatest Riffs Of All Time.. But the Kings Of The Riff are Metallica – the Bay Area thrash band that went on to be the biggest band in metal appear four times in the top 20 alone.... On Ride The Lightning ’s spacious, dynamic third track the chorus riff is simplicity itself, based around palm-muted E-string chugging and fat, ringing power chords, but it has a weight and power that helped birth the ‘90s Metallica sound .. The call and response riff of the opening track of Led Zeppelin IV was the perfect way to open one of rock's most perfect albums.. Though the song obviously goes down as a Metallica classic, dig a little deeper and you can find that Hammett’s former band Exodus had a tiny part to play in the creation of this metal masterpiece.... “They got to the ‘Die by my hand’ riff and they started grinning at me and I laughed because I’d had that riff kicking around for so long and we’d used it in an Exodus demo, but it just worked in Creeping Death so well.. The grateful Leon repaid the favour by later helping Randy write what would become one of his signature riffs with Ozzy Osbourne: Crazy Train .. Crazy Train fused a bass line reminiscent of Papa Was A Rolling Stone with one of metal’s greatest guitar riffs and solos.

Years ago, my lifelong friend started learning piano by ear. I remember going over to his house. He dragged me into the living room and said, "Listen to

He dragged me into the living room and said, “Listen to this.” He proceeded to bang out the guitar riff to “Day Tripper” flawlessly.. They not only define the song, they are the song.. Sabbath relied heavily on distorted guitar riffs, often stringing four or five together in the same song.. This riff is based entirely on two note power chords.. The Beatles rarely relied on riffs as a vehicle for their songs.. The riff even found its way into the end of “I Like To Rock” by Canadian rock band April Wine.. The riff structure is from the combination scale (a mixture of the minor and major pentatonic scales), a staple in blues and rock guitar.. The guitar riff is based in the natural minor scale and comprised of inverted power chords in parallel fourths.. Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” features one the best rock guitar intros ever written, and is just an overall great song.. When they perform it live, Angus only plays it when it is needed, switching over to rhythm guitar for much of the song.. Although AC/DC are known as a riff based band, it is the rhythm guitar work that sets them apart.. This is the big one, the king daddy of all rock guitar riffs.. Even Lars Ulrich (Metallica’s founding member and drummer), called this the “riff of life.” Every guitar teacher has heard this Deep Purple classic played wrong more than any other piece of music.. Comprised entirely of inverted two note power chords (the fifth is on the bottom and the root is on the top), this riff should go down in history as the most overplayed song on guitar.

Virtuoso guitar playing has come to define rock ‘n’ roll. Greg Kot looks back at its colourful history.

Virtuoso guitar playing has come to define rock ‘n’ roll.. But the guitar riff?. And when done that spectacularly, the riff becomes the core of the tune, its most memorable feature when listeners play it back in their head.. In the ‘50s, when electric guitar began to take over as the primary instrument in what became known as rock ‘n’ roll, the riff ruled.. Around the same time, The Rolling Stones were charting with The Last Time, a remake of a gospel track they first heard by the Staple Singers, This May be the Last Time.. That ability to evoke something with a handful of notes and chords is what makes a riff resonate.

Enhance your repertoire with 10 popular songs containing cool guitar riffs. We listed a couple of riffs from each age, see how riffs evolved through time

In this world there are plenty of Top Ten lists for the greatest guitar songs , scales , solos , and of course riffs.. This ebook will show you 52 chord progressions , which are the foundation of many genres and styles of Western Music. Many young guitar players. at the time found. his simple riff in Summertime Blues to be an easy song to learn.. As you practice this on the guitar it is easy to imagine all the famous 60’s guitarists that once played the same riff !. This is. a great tuning to have in your guitar repertoire !. This song is not too difficult. to learn, the key. is finding the right pedals and slight delay to get the sound just right.. The riff is simply four power chords played through heavy distortion (don’t forget to tune your guitar a half step down ), as usual not complicated but powerful.. It also sounds. great on an acoustic guitar!

25/10/2012 · the best riff to come out of the primals’ delusional “we are the rolling stones” period, ‘jailbird’ has the keef filth but a bit of jimmy page churn too. 30/12/2020 · “tiny dancer” was ranked no. Rolling stone’s 200 greatest australian albums of all time. He's shared the stage with some of the best guitar players in the world. 16/8/2021 · 40 of the best guitar riffs of all time.

16/8/2021 · 40 of the best guitar riffs of all time.. 16/8/2021 · 40 of the best guitar riffs of all time.. 16/8/2021 · 40 of the best guitar riffs of all time.. Jimmy page, robert plant, john bonham and john paul jones were known for creating some of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time and stairway to heaven is no exception.. 16/8/2021 · 40 of the best guitar riffs of all time.. 16/8/2021 · 40 of the best guitar riffs of all time.. 16/8/2021 · 40 of the best guitar riffs of all time.. Source: imagesvc.meredithcorp.io16/8/2021 · 40 of the best guitar riffs of all time.. Jimmy page, robert plant, john bonham and john paul jones were known for creating some of the most iconic guitar riffs of all time and stairway to heaven is no exception.

"There's no lying with the acoustic guitar. There's something very pure, and very humbling, about it." - Slash  Who else could say this better than one of rock music's guitar heroes. While he is mostly known for shredding those electric guitars like a god, and while rock songs mostly live within

The acoustic is more raw, unplugged, and is stripped away of all the multi-layered effects and production, and brings out the natural talent of the player.. This classic ballad from Bryan Adams featured a complex Spanish flamenco guitar riff in the intro.. This song is probably the most famous rock song of all time.. It is also the most excellent acoustic guitar riff of all time.. As a tribute to Barrett, Pink Floyd wrote and recorded several songs about him but the most popular one is “Wish You Were Here”, which features a classic guitar riff on acoustic.. The baroque instrumental is also often played on the classical guitar, an instrument Paul McCartney and George Harrison learned growing up.. So I made up the next few bars, and (sings his four-note variation Bach’s theme) it became the basis of ‘Blackbird.’. But they can also boast about the talent that the band showcased in this performance.. Sambora lays down impressive acoustic finger work.

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